Tempe, AZ – The fifth- ranked UCLA Bruins came into Tempe and pounded the Arizona State Sun Devils 87-65. UCLA’s size was just too much for ASU. TJ Leaf led the way for the Bruins scoring 25 points and hauling down nine rebounds.
In the first half both teams started off slow, but traded baskets early on. Leaf led the way early for UCLA with his presence in the post. Leaf (16.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg) had 16 points in the half. Torian Graham of the Sun Devils came into this game as the second leading scorer in the Pac-12 Conference at 18.5 ppg. He had great first half with 17 points. UCLA shot 51.4 percent from the field, getting contributions off the bench from Aaron Holiday (7 points) and Ike Anigbogu (8 points). UCLA was able to take advantage of the smaller Sun Devils, outrebounding them 25 to 13 in the half with ten offensive rebounds giving them second chance opportunities. Three of the top four leading scorers for the Bruins, Lonzo Ball (15.4 ppg), Bryce Alford (16.2 ppg) and Isaac Hamilton (14.3 ppg) all had quiet half. Ball had two points, Alford had six points and Hamilton was held scoreless. For ASU, Obinna Oleka (12 ppg, 10 rpg) had eight points and seven rebounds at the half. ASU’s Tra Holder and Shannon Evans struggled shooting from the field, Holder 0-of-5 and Evans 1-of-5 with just three points. The Sun Devils shot 37.5 percent from the field. At halftime the Bruins led 45-36.
The Sun Devils came out with some fire going on a 7-0 run to start the second half. ASU’s Kodi Justice started finding his stroke from behind the arc, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the half. However. that run ASU was trying to build on would soon come to an end. UCLA’s Aaron Holiday started to heat up from behind the arc, finishing the game with 17 points. Ike Anigbogu impacted this game with his ability to run the floor, block and contest shots at the rim, he finished with 12 points. UCLA shot 45.2 percent from the field in the second half. Graham put on a show tonight trying to keep the Sun Devils in the game, but it wasn’t enough. He finished with 28 points. ASU shot 40 percent from the field in the second half. Whenever ASU tried to make a run, UCLA would go back to Leaf. Leaf had it all together tonight, showing off his post moves, taking advantage of smaller defenders and in his soft touch on his shot in the pick and pop game.
The UCLA Bruins improved to 25-3 on the season and 12-3 in conference play. The Bruins next game is against the fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats Saturday in Tucson. As for the Sun Devils, they fall to 13-16 on the season and 6-10 in conference play. They play next against USC at home on Sunday.
This article was written by Ryan Lawless, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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